CLARKSVILLE, Ark. (AP) - A new sentencing trial has been ordered for a Dardanelle man sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of killing his mother.
The Southwest Times Record reports http://bit.ly/S1VgXN that District Judge William Pearson ordered the new hearing Tuesday for 49-year-old Tommy Bowden after finding that a bailiff made inappropriate comments in front of jurors before sentencing.
Bowden was convicted Oct. 10 of beating his 71-year-old mother - Julie Richardson - to death with a shovel. The jury recommended and Pearson imposed the life sentence the next day.
The new hearing comes after Prosecutor David Gibbons notified Pearson and defense attorneys that the bailiff said in front of jurors that Bowden "acted up" at the jail and was wearing a "shock belt" to control him in court.
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